I'm Grateful for Christmas this Year

Real Estate Agent with Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate 0396717

We are going to have a GREAT life together! -Margaret McNally,  May, 1986

Backed up in the inevitable traffic that clogs every parking lot at Christmas, I watch as two people go at it over an empty parking space. Though my windows are up, I can still make out the heated exchange that ends with one of the individuals screaming Happy %#?+* ing...Holidays!!! So much for Peace on Earth, Good will toward men. Though not involved in the ruckus my attitude is almost as dreary. It's been a challenging year and I have a number of things I could gripe about without any encouragement at all. Thirty minutes later I am in the checkout line at my favorite Austin Whole Foods Store and confronted with the most cheerful checkout person on the planet. As I stand there, we get caught up in some funny banter about how much fun it really is during the holidays and my mood completely changes. As the woman finishes bagging my items, she says," The only thing I really have control over is my attitude and I am very happy in spite of things to the contrary in my life". At this point, two of her co-workers laugh and only half jokingly agree that she is often so happy, it can sometimes be irritating to everyone around! I really start laughing at this point because I have had the same effect on co-workers too!

   Zilker Christmas Tree by Dan Herron, Herronstock.com

Driving home, stuck in the barely crawling traffic on Barton Springs Rd. I have a chance to enjoy the view of the Zilker Park Christmas Tree. About that time, Hayes Carll's bitter sweet song Grateful for Christmas, about the holiday and family antics starts playing on the radio and I slowly begin to realize just how grateful I am, not only for Christmas but an abundance of good things in my life. As I type this I am cognizant of the fact that there are times when I really don't want to hear a bunch of positive malarkey so...if you are not really in the mood, you better stop reading now. They say that attitude is an inside job and I know for a fact that the checkout lady at the store was absolutely right. No matter what goes on in the world, I have the ability to either get wound up in negativity or choose a different path. I've known it for years but need a gentle reminder now and then.

This year also marks the 25th Christmas I've shared with my wife; we also celebrated our 25th anniversary this past May, 25th.  It's something that I can't quite explain but I have to say that of all the gifts I've received over the years, Margaret is the best thing that ever happened to me. The quote at the beginning of this post is something she told me the day before we got married and in the long run, she was absolutely correct. Though she is a very private person, I decided to make this blog post, my Christmas card to her this year and hopefully she will like it. She recently told me that K.T. Oslin's, Hold me is one of her favorite songs about marriage and like many relationships and families, we have faced all kinds of challenges and somehow managed to survive together and prosper.  Of course, in The Book of Love perspective changes daily and in all relationships it varies from day to day. Ask her about how long we've been married and the answer will range for 25 years to twenty five THOUSAND years...depending on the circumstances! So...my wish for you this Christmas is that, no matter what is going on in your world (and yes, there is plenty to be seriously concerned about) you take a few moments and make a mental gratitude list about what is actually good in your life. It's  gift you give yourself and you might be surprised at your outlook, even for a short time. Because after all...Love actually is...all around!

 Happy Holidays, You are now free to return to any previously scheduled stress levels, if you so choose!

Posted by

Russell Lewis Luxury Real Estate Broker Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape 


If you enjoyed this post, why not connect with me in these other communities?

Follow Me on Twitter   Become My Friend on Facebook   Time to get LinkedIn!   Subscribe to The Good Life in Austin Texas      

Comments (44)

Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Have a great 2012 .thanks for the post.

Dec 24, 2011 11:26 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Russell,

Love your tribute to your wife! Merry Christmas and 2012 will be a very good year....just ask the checker at Whole Pay Check..I mean Whole Foods :).

Dec 25, 2011 12:05 AM
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Russell-Merry Christmas.  May the day be merry and bright! 

Dec 25, 2011 01:34 AM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Well said, Russell.  The silliness that happens around this time of year could definitely drag you down, but there is so much to be grateful for that it truly outweighs the yuck.  Have a very Merry Christmas!

Dec 25, 2011 02:13 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Adversity serves to contrast the not so pleasant making us realize that there is always more than one point of view and for a reason too...do great things and conquer new lands..my friend

Dec 25, 2011 02:16 AM
Karen Kruschka
RE/MAX Executives - Woodbridge, VA
- "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS"

Russell  Margaret is also very fortunate to have married you - Merry Christmas

Dec 25, 2011 02:17 AM
Kathy Sheehan
Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021 - Atlanta, GA
Senior Loan Officer

I too have been the one accused of always smiling and being happy.  It used to annoy many of the employees when I would great them at the door at 4:30 a.m. Attitude is a choice!

I must say that was a beautiful tribute to your wife.  Have a Merry Christmas!

Dec 25, 2011 02:20 AM
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

Russell, Merry Christmas! 25 years is awesome!                                                                                                  

Dec 25, 2011 02:44 AM
Bruce Brockmeier
Internet Marketing Consultant to REALTORS® - Yorba Linda, CA
Coached By Crouch

Amen.  Merry Christmas, Russell, to you and your family!

Dec 25, 2011 03:25 AM
Fernando Herboso - Associate Broker MD, & VA
Maxus Realty Group of Samson Properties - Clarksburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA


Merry Christmas Russell, just stopping by to wish you enjoyment of this day with your family, friends and those that care about you. . .being happily married 25 years is a great testament of what type of man you are .. .congratulations!



Dec 25, 2011 03:34 AM
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Russel you and Margaret are so lucky to have each other...hope you had a blessed day and wishing you a healthy and prosperous new year,

Dec 25, 2011 01:21 PM
Sidney Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula
Realty Works Temecula - Temecula, CA
Realty Works Temecula

Russell:  Wonderful post and hope you had a great Christmas!

Dec 25, 2011 02:13 PM
Lainie Ramsey
Homes By Lainie Real Estate Group - Pottsboro, TX
Lake Texoma Expert

What a great blog post!!  Just wanted to tell you that it was great meeting you recently at our AR meetup.  I look forward to many more of those...fun, fun!

Dec 26, 2011 02:24 AM
Margaret Lewis

It's Dec 26 and I just now sat down to check email in 4 days. What a gift to read Russell's blog. Even if we have had cross words or think we are too busy to snuggle, usually me, one or the other of us can bring the "spirit" back into the situation. I agree with all of you AR'ers and know that I am married to the best fitting man for me. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a very prosperous New Year.


Dec 26, 2011 02:58 AM
Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

Russell - Even though you don't do this sort of post often, this is one of my favorites from you.  Hope you and Margaret had a wonderful Christmas and here's to a much better New Year for you!

Dec 26, 2011 03:42 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

I'm so happy that this post got Featured!  What a beautiful Christmas card to your wife!  Margaret is a lucky lady.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you both!

Dec 26, 2011 06:57 AM
Russell, what a beautiful tribute to Margaret and your marriage. I love her comment too and it's so nice to see people who stay together and also are as happy as you two! What a gift!
Dec 26, 2011 09:28 AM
Wayne Johnson
Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS® - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale

Russell: Very nice sentiment. Congratulations to you and your wife first. The parking lot fighters are lucky. Lots of issues like that end badly, especially here in Texas as you know. Wishing you a happy New Year.

Dec 26, 2011 12:59 PM
1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 116 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK

Russell, I bet she loved this post/card.  Don and I celebrated 25 years this year also.  Hope yours has been as wonderful as ours has been.

Dec 26, 2011 02:16 PM
Sharon Paxson
Compass - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate

Hi Russell - what a wonderful post and attitude is everything in life! Congratulations on your 25th anniversary along with celebrrating your 25th Christmas together. I am sure it was Merry!

Jan 05, 2012 01:39 PM